Saturday, December 08, 2007
Things that happened this week
A student said to me, “I can’t speak French. Funny thing is, though, I can speak it when I go to France.” Handy.
On Wednesdays I usually walk home from work – it’s about 3 miles – just to stretch my legs properly. This Wednesday, it was, as we say in Scotland, stotting down – pouring with rain that bounced off the pavements and up again in straight lines with little balls of water on the top. Some of the rain stotted up the backs of my legs, soaked into my trousers and gradually trickled down into my socks. My jacket is kind-of-showerproof – it might repel a gentle summer drizzle - and so water soon soaked through my hood and started to run down my neck and back. After a while, I was so wet that it became almost enjoyable – I couldn’t get any wetter so I became part of the shower, a big lump of weather splashing and squelching along. Just as I got home, the rain stopped. The cats were glad to see me. But why didn't you just stay at home today? they enquired.
I had a dental check-up at 8 am and arrived before the dentist. Our current dentist is very young, but normally he wears his white dentist’s top and appears reasonably… dental. However, he arrived looking like a sixteen-year-old: woolly hat pulled down over his ears, scruffy jacket, black jeans. Taking off his jacket, he then revealed a crumpled yellow t-shirt emblazoned with the name of some band. And I thought… this is what it’s going to be for the rest of my life. As I approach retirement and for ever after, all my dealings with professionals will feel as if I’m putting my faith, my health, my life in the hands of children. Strange. I once vaguely thought that I might do a PhD or something when I retired, but in fact I won’t. How embarrassing it would be to be told by a smooth-faced youth that my ideas were foolish.
Still, of course, the world belongs to the young, and why shouldn’t it? It belonged to us when we were young. Anyway, I suppose I’m better having a youngster tending my teeth than an arthritic 60-year-old with failing eyesight.
And once he put on his dentist’s uniform he looked more convincing.